tamz's picture
tamz

Do all kids with behavior problems have ADD ADHD??

I have read post after post stating kids have ADD, ADHD, bipolar disorder and such.  My own son was diagnosed with ADD ...


 


I wonder how many kids actually have a physical/mental disorder and how many have only a behavior problem??


 


If that many kids really do have these problems then is it an epidemic?



SnglDad's picture
SnglDad

 I think this is seriously over diagnosed. I also think the drug companies are just fine with that. It's easier for some parents to believe that there is something wrong with their child mentally, rather than face the fear of having to blame themselves for not doing a better JOB at parenting.

junieg's picture
junieg

No, not all children with behavioural problems have ADHD. There are many causes for behavioural problems, both physical and mental, and yes single dad, in a lot of cases from bad parenting.

ADHD is NOT caused by bad parenting. In Britain, there are a lot less children who get the diagnosis, because we have the National Health Service. We don't spend out money where it can be saved. The acid test is a brain scan which shows without a doubt if the child has this physiological problem. Unfortunately, these are expensive and not used for this kind of diagnosis very often. One clear test is if the child is given medication such as Ritalin. The difference can be startling. In a child who doesn't have ADHD, the amphetamine based medication will have the opposite effect and the child will be more active.
Please remember, it is physiological not physcological. It causes so much damage to a parent being told they are at the root of their child's disorder and dysfunction when clearly they are not.

foxwoodfaerie's picture
foxwoodfaerie

No, not all kids with behavioral problems have a condition, I agree that these things are seriously overdiagnosed to the point of it being sickening.  I am appalled at how many people will go to the point of medicating their child when some simple lifestyle/parenting changes could fix their problems.  I know someone who's 5 yo son has been dx with adhd but yet they have a huge flat screen tv that is on 24 hours a day.  Hmmm....perhaps turn off Sally Jesse and spend some time paying attention to your kid and he'd stop bouncing off the walls trying to get your attention! 

Also, bipolar disorder runs rampant in my family, never diagnosed before puberty and sometimes not before adulthood but, interestingly enough, the family member that was told he had ADD at the age of 7 is now 29 years old and is actually bipolar.  I believe that (this is going to get me killed probably) there may most likely not be any such thing as ADD/ADHD but really that these kids are being either misdiagnosed and will end up being dx with a brain disorder like bipolar in the future or they are just products of homes where the parents aren't giving them the type of attention and help they need.

junieg's picture
junieg

I don't know what qualifies you to say there may be no such thing as ADHD.  Have you had much experience with any children who suffer from it?  I have done the studying, but also lived with two children who have it. I also work with children who have the disorder. It is NOT about bad parenting. When will people like you get it into their heads.  So many sanctimonious people who would like to blame the parents because their children are okay. They must be good parents then. My children, all four of them were brought up exactly the same way, but two of them did not have the disorder. They led normal lives not getting into trouble and doing well at school. The other two had major problems. I did all I could to help them which included counselling and trying all the strategies suggested to me. Because you are blaming bad parenting for a disorder which has been thoroughly researched, you are calling me and all the parents on here whose children have the disorder a bad parent. Thanks but it took me many years of pain to get over blaming myself for how my children are. Why don't you research it properly before you judge people. How dare you!

Just a few  links.
http://www.adders.org/research4.htm

http://www.futurepundit.com/archives/002490.html

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Is_there_an_MRI_or_brain_scan_test_that_diagno...

gail's picture
gail

Just opinion here, but I do think that some kids have behavior problems that can be addressed by changing parental behaviors, and some kids have behavior problems that are a result of environmental (allergy or other) factors and some kids are not disordered at all, but just need more physical activity or more interaction with others than is allowed for in the current educational system.  So many kids get labeled hyperactive because they need a higher level of physical activity than they get 6 hours a day seated at a desk.  So many kids get labeled attention deficit because they are talking to their peers or learning independently,  instead of attending to teacher's lecture or to seat-work.  And I keep hearing the solution to some problem is less recess, more homework.  It must be a different problem. 


There are a few children who are outside the norm, but they are a very few, not nearly as many as are diagnosed/treated ADD/ADHD.

junieg's picture
junieg

Yes, as you say Gail, just your opinion, but keep doing the research and you may get there in the end and understand what ADHD is all about.
I don't doubt there are quite a few parents out there who are just lazy and want their child diagnosed to give themselves a break, but with ignorant comments, parents of children who are truly affected are stigmatised with the rest. The problem does seem to be a lot more prevalent over there in the States. Why do you think that is? It could be because we have a National Health Service and you have to pay for treatment. Of course, there are the drug companies to keep solvent too., as I think singledad commented on.

foxwoodfaerie's picture
foxwoodfaerie

My experience comes from living with my brother for 9 years after he'd been diagnosed with ADD, until he was 16 and was properly diagnosed with bipolar disorder with which he is still not med compliant almost 13 years later.  It also comes from three years as a full time student studying early childhood education and psychology.

I did not say that I believe there is no such thing as ADD/ADHD.  I said that there MAY not be such a thing.  I'm not saying there isn't something wrong with some of the children diagnosed with it, I'm saying that they are being misdiagnosed.  I think that drugs such as ritalin are so cruel to put into children, especially since it's been proven as reported by NAMI that ritalin has an opposite effect with bipolar disorder in children, making them worse instead of better.
Up until recently, bipolar disorder in children was unheard of.  Then doctors starting seeing a pattern in teenagers that were newly diagnosed with bipolar disorder, showing that they had been diagnosed with ADHD in their childhood.  ADHD symptoms mimic that of childhood bipolar disorder. 
What I am trying to say is that perhaps what we are calling ADD or ADHD are actually childhood bipolar disorder.  I am not quite sure what should be done from that point, as the most effective bipolar drugs are for adults only but, I just hate to see a child given drugs that may not be doing what they are intended to do because the wrong disorder is being treated.

Here is a link that talks a bit about childhood bipolar and, I believe, mentions the association with an ADHD diagnosis: 
http://www.bpkids.org/site/PageServer?pagename=lrn_about

Also, I take slight (but not complete because I know we parents are fiercely protective) offense at your assumption that I am ignorant on this matter.  All education and life experience with my brother aside, I have a severe brain disorder myself and am active in NAMI as well as an advocate for mental health parity and single payer healthcare to do away with the need for parity.  I also speak to children about mental illness awareness at schools and strive to lessen the stigma towards those with a mental illness through education on the subject.
I know that you could not possibly know any of this about me but, my point is that an assumption of ignorance is not always accurate and can be hurtful.

gail's picture
gail

Junie, sorry I came across poorly.  My response was intended to say that there are many different problems that manifest in behavior, not that ADD/ADHD is imaginary or caused by poor parenting

junieg's picture
junieg

You talk about your experience with your brother, yes, fair enough. But just because that was his problem, doesn't mean it is the same in all cases. I know it is not the case with either of my sons, one of whom is 32, and the other 18. My elder one wasn't diagnosed with ADHD until relatively recently and his life is still a struggle. My youngest one however did get a diagnosis, and his life was totally different from his older brother's. He did take Ritalin, and you may have your doubts about medication, some people do, but I feel it saved him. I would have 'been cruel' NOT to give him this help. It helped him to focus and let him have a more 'normal' life. He was eventually able to return to mainstream schooling and is now doing excellently at college gaining distinctions in exams.
I am also a graduate having studied early childhood education, psychology, sociology etc, etc, etc, and am working with children now professionally.
You may feel slighted, but did you think what you had made me feel when you passed your comments and judgement over me as a parent.

junieg's picture
junieg

Sorry Gail, you just got caught in the crossfire again. My apologies. I was rather irate at another poster.